TAMPA — When USF coach Jim Leavitt took the podium after Saturday's 34-22 win against Louisville, he looked as if he'd played in the game himself, with a bloody gash across the bridge of his nose and a red mark above his left eye.
Asked about the injury, Leavitt deadpanned that he "fell in the locker room," but his players revealed a familiar Leavitt halftime motivation: headbutting players while they still have their helmets on.
"He was fired up. He grabbed somebody — I think it was (walk-on linebacker) LaDre Watkins," senior safety Nate Allen said. "He headbutted him and fell backwards. I couldn't help but laugh, because that's the best one I've seen. … We were fired up about that one."
The Bulls scored a touchdown on their first drive of the second half, then Allen intercepted a Louisville pass on the next play, setting up a field goal and a 27-16 lead.
"I just heard about it when I got back to the press box (after) halftime, and they said, 'Did you see Coach Leavitt,' " offensive coordinator Mike Canales said. "I said, 'Why, what's wrong with him?' 'He's bloody.' I thought, 'Oh, golly, okay.' … That's Coach. That's who he is. You know what you're getting, and the kids love it."